Faber on Mechanics of Patent Claim Drafting (Practising Law Institute Intel) (英語) Loose Leaf – 2008/12/21
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Faber on Mechanics of Patent Claim Drafting spotlights proven claim-drafting practices and techniques that have been firmly established by patent authorities and custom. This lucid, timesaving handbook offers you start-to-finish directions on how to craft claims for different types of inventions; real-world examples of effective claim drafting; insight into the accepted words and phrases you should use in specific drafting situations; instruction on how to describe structures in the drawings; and numerous tips on how to avoid common claim-drafting mistakes. Included are helpful glossaries of patent terms and the mechanical terms used in drawings.
I just got the book today and I have a few complaints.
First, the pages don't lay flat. I guess they don't expect anyone to really read the book. It's not like books that are stiff when they are new and you have to break them in; the pages will never lay flat. I'm not happy, this book is too expensive to not function well as a book.
Second, there's a sticker on the shrink wrap that covers the book when it arrives and it has a phone number on it to call and register your book so you can get the updates. "OK, cool, I thought, I'm calling right now." So I did. And to my amazement I get that ancient modem sound that you used to get when you called your neighbor and they were online but only had one phone line. I'm not kidding. My first thought was, "Who still uses a modem?!" My second thought was, "What professional organization puts a phone number on their (really expensive) product for registering it and then clogs up the line using a modem? I was so amazed I had to write this review and tell everyone.
Third, not to be a typography snob, but the book cover looks like it was designed in the 50's. (At least they could've used Helvetica)
I'll write a more substantive review after I've used the book to hopefully help me draft better claims.
So, I got down to reading some of the chapters this last week. The book reads well, there are sections on different topics and at the end of each section there is a nice little recap of what was just said, very helpful.
I did find out how to sign up for the update service. So the sticker on the book wrapping shows the number as "800.206.4PLI (4751)" Upon close examination once can see the error, "4PLI" is not the same as "4751" it is actually "4754." Since I despise using letters to call a telephone number I used the numbers and, yes, they call some modem somewhere. So, yeah, fix it PLI.
Another thing I didn't anticipate, maybe because I'm new to the legal education field, is that the updates cost money, nowhere did I read that the updates were going to cost me money. But, not just a little money; the service rep I talked to from PLI said that the next update comes out in November and that it is going to cost $180 or so. That's like half the price of the book! Good thing it's been pretty useful so far or I'd really be looking at selling this thing right now. I'll make sure and not buy "How to Write a Patent Application" by Sheldon until it gets the update from the new law as well in order to save me money.
Overall I am extremely disappointed; the disappointment worsened by my very high expectations before receiving this book. The book appears as if most parts were written 20 years ago. There is frequent reference to claims writing in the patent agent exam, and parts of the book seems to be written as a form of test prep for the exam. It is many years since they stopped testing claims writing in the USPTO registration exam. About 45% of the book is taken up by 33 test cases, a selection of contents from title 35 of US Code (the patent law), and the USPTO rules and procedures. The cases are almost absurd in a book published in 2012. They all originate from USPTO examinations from the early 1960's, and the content is drawn from patents that are much older. One of these discloses a horse propelled sowing device invented by George Washington... Of course there are general principles covered, and many teaching objectives are not necessarily negatively affected by using almost ancient subject matter, but considering the many concerns particular to modern patent law, such as for example arising from software and business method patents, the outdated case content is remarkable. It also just generally indicates that there has been no serious attempt at making this work fully relevant to the modern age. In general the cases are short, not instructive, seem incomplete to the scope of the subject, and fail to comprehensively teach principles of claim writing. The legislation excerpts are completely useless. Anyone who reads this book would have passed the USPTO patent bar, should know the USPTO MPEP intimately, and probably already has a full copy covering all legislation, and all rules and procedures. This contents, about 20% of the book, is essentially filler.
You end up with a brick of a book where almost 50% is close to useless, and the remaining 50% is flawed and in parts outdated. There are of course parts that cover critical and even modern understanding of patent claim drafting, but paying $365 for what perhaps ends up being 50 pages of highly useful guidance seems excessive. My end impression is that this book was perhaps once quite excellent, but has long since passed its expiration date. A complete overhaul is warranted; which perhaps even should include a reconsideration of the premise of discussing the drafting of the claims in a vacuum, without a parallel analysis of the contents of the application in its entirety.
Normally I would immediately try to resell this book. It keeps its value well from what I can see on Ebay. As it is, every patent attorney and agent is supposed to have this book on the shelf, and consequently I will keep mine. I think it will mostly stay on the shelf.
The other book every patent practitioner should own is: "How to write a Patent Application" by Jeff Sheldon. This book is excellent and tremendously useful.